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Associated Press

Strongest quake since volcano erupted shakes Spanish island

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake has shaken Spain’s La Palma island off northwest Africa in what was the strongest recorded since a local volcano began erupting 26 days ago

MADRID (AP) - A 4.5-magnitude earthquake shook La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands in what was the strongest recorded temblor since volcanic eruptions began 26 days ago, authorities said Thursday.

The quake was one of around 60 recorded overnight, Spain's National Geographic Institute said, as the Cumbre Vieja volcano continued to spew fiery rivers of lava that are destroying everything in their path and dumping molten rock into the Atlantic Ocean.

The flow from three rivers of molten rock broadened to 1.7 kilometers (about a mile), the La Palma government said.

Hard, black lava now covers 640 hectares (1,580 acres) on the western side of the island, authorities said, though most of la Palma is unaffected.

The lava has partially or completely destroyed more than 1,500 buildings, though prompt evacuations have so far avoided casualties. More than 6,000 people have had to abandon their homes.

La Palma is part of Spain's Canary Islands, an Atlantic Ocean archipelago off northwest Africa whose economy depends on tourism and the cultivation of the Canary plantain.

Military Emergency Unit personal clear black ash from volcano as it continues to erupt lava behind a church on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain on Wednesday Oct. 13, 2021. A new lava stream from an erupting volcano threatened to engulf another neighborhood on its way toward the Atlantic Ocean. Island authorities have ordered the evacuation of around 800 people from a section of the coastal town on Tuesday after the lava took a new course and put their homes in its probable path of destruction. (AP Photo/Saul Santos)
A volcano continues to erupt lava behind a shrine on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain on Wednesday Oct. 13, 2021. A new lava stream from an erupting volcano threatened to engulf another neighborhood on its way toward the Atlantic Ocean. Island authorities have ordered the evacuation of around 800 people from a section of the coastal town on Tuesday after the lava took a new course and put their homes in its probable path of destruction. (AP Photo/Saul Santos)